I found a mourning card in the mail. “After a long sickbed, WIM DE GROOT passed away in hospital.” I was upset. That sweet Wim had not survived lymphoma. I walked back to my apartment, thinking. Some months ago I had visited Wim in hospital, where he occupied a double.
There were many Get Well cards on the wall behind his bed. I soon noticed that he didn’t want us to kiss because of his outstretched and stiff hand keeping me at bay. We were whispering, and he told me that his roommate did not know he was gay. He was surrounded by his wife and adult children. “Man, what do you care. It’s 2015.” But Wim preferred it this way.
Wim had been a gay activist, just like me. He had been active for a COC branch in Zuid-Holland. Later on, he lived on Stadhouderskade. He had been extremely handsome in his denims and with Indian scarf. For a while, we had a thing going on. Wim taught me what to do with a bottle of poppers. That was lovely and exciting, and it was great making love to Wim.
On the train from Wormerveer I had been sick of horniness. The words top and bottom did not exist yet, but Wim was the fucker. He lived on the second floor and was waiting for me. “There you are, scoundrel,” he said. And before long we were in his bed, naked. Giving him head was wonderful, and he turned me around and fucked me endlessly. I felt him coming. Wim was on top of me, panting heavily, and withdrew. “That was wonderful,” he said. “You are wonderful.” Some cum fell on my back, and Wim grabbed a towel to clean me up. “Thanks,” I said, and turned over. I kissed him and said: “You are wonderful. How do you manage to keep it up for such a long time?” Smiling, Wim said: “Practice makes perfect.” I kissed him. He grabbed hold of me, and we laughed and felt out of the bed onto the floor.
Wim and I had a little secret. Everywhere we met each other, we would sing “Ramona” by the Blue Diamonds. Even in the dark room at the Argos:
I hear the mission bells above
The ring and bells a song of love
I press you caress you
And bless the day you told me again
To always remember
The ramblin’ rose you wear upon your head
When day is done you hear my call
We’ll meet beside the waterfall
I’ll dress the dawn
When I awake you have to be gone
I need you on my own
I reread Wim’s mourning card. An introduction, his name, and a list with the names of his mother, his sisters and brothers with following and their children. I decided not to go to his funeral. I did burn a candle for him that day. Later, I heard that they played some classical music at his funeral and that only his eldest sister had spoken a few words. She had said that Wim was the only one who was not married in the family and used words such as “single” and “bachelor.” I thought: “Sweet Wim, that is not the goodbye I had in mind for you as a gay activist.”